Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Psalm 51:1–17 (UMH 785)
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6, 16–21
Blessed Ash Wednesday to all of you. As people of Christian faith on this day we begin to journey toward the Resurrection of our Lord. We join Jesus in his suffering and come face to face with our own mortality. Along the way our sinfulness will also become evident if our journey is filled with prayer, fasting, and the study of the Bible for this season. Repentance for our sin will be the only worthy response to our God who loves us unconditionally. Healing and wholeness will be the gracious gifts we will receive in our repentance; the faithful promise of the One who is our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
Being a disciple of Jesus the Christ requires holy discipline. Lent reminds us of the discipline of staying close to Jesus so that we may live as his disciples. If taken seriously the Lenten journey is not for the faint of heart, but it is an opportunity to experience the Holy One in transformative ways.
All of us can participate in this journey because the Holy Spirit is our guide and sustainer along the way. The Holy Spirit will illumine our path, show us the way and assure our arrival on the eve of Easter Sunday just in time to meet our Risen Lord!
Be of good faith. Let us pray without ceasing. May our fasting be one of setting aside all that obstructs the rightful place of Jesus in our lives. In the desert places of Lent let us drink of the word of God, the only water that will truly quench the thirst of our souls.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church